Pulling together some of the ideas I’ve been playing around with (see here and here), I’ve come up with a roster I feel really happy with. It uses the Pentagram of Farallah in every list, so I’ve called it the Pentathletes.
- Doctor Strange
- Soul Gem
Team tactics cards
- Advanced R&D
- All You’ve Got
- Field Dressing
- Hired Muscle
- Pentagrams of Farallah
- Seven Suns of Cinnabus
- Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
- Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest
- Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians
- Mystic Wakandan Herbs: Fact or Fiction?
- Struggle for the Cube Continues
- Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
The basis of the team is around having both really strong secures and extract plays. The favoured crises are either Demons Downtown or Wakandan Herb.
In Demons, you get a M.O.D.O.K. in the middle of the board at the end of round one, attack twice and only have at most one activation after him. Then early round two attack twice again. You can retreat him to relative safety back through the portal if you want to. Maybe even use All You’ve Got safe knowing he can be Field Dressing later in the round, allowing 6 attacks from M.O.D.O.K. early in round 2. That leads to a lot of dazed characters. Seven Suns is also great in this clustered crisis. This crisis is great for you whether you have priority or not.
In Wakandan Herb, you use the Toadily Awesome base of 11 threat to build a team that threatens to score the Herb on round one unless specific disruption is applied. This disruption can lead to an advantage in board position that can lead to an attrition advantage: their characters get isolated and picked off. This crisis is best when you don’t have priority or when you think you will outnumber your opponent so Toad activates last and scores without any activations left in the round.
That accounts for an awful lot of your games – 66% of them you will pick one of these two crises. But it still has strong plays on the secondary crises. On secures, Gamma Wave has the same bunched up layout as Demons. It scores faster, but with the amount of dazing you will be doing, this matters less. On extracts, you can use the Hulk scoops up two Cubes and runs away play. This is the least game swinging of the crises they have available, but it makes your opponent chase the game round one. This is the one you probably play the least.
There are two other crises to help with specific things. Angela poses a problem to the Hulk Cubes play as she can hoover up two cubes herself first activation. Choosing Spider Infected instead limits her to one – the maximum that can be carried – allowing Hulk to portal, grab one, move twice and play Hired Muscle to move 2-3 of the spiders closer to your people, making them much easier to grab, and much harder for your opponent. With Strange + gem and Valkyrie, you have a decent team on Deadly Meteors as you can interact with both features of the crises in the first round – much liek teh Asgardians. If you see a Wakandan or Web Warrior team that you think out paces you on Gamma, maybe dropping this gives you that early advantage that you can leverage. This is the one crisis where you maybe don’t play Pentagrams, though it depends on the extract – both Wakanda and Web Warriors often bring Cubes, and so you may not need the Soul Gem on Strange, but he will get good use out of it on the C layout secures.
19 on Demons is going to be a common one for you.
- Doctor Strange
- Soul Gem
Strange sets up the portal. Hawkeye pops through fires twice and hopefully Hook Arrow’s back. Wong can power up Strange and sit on a demon portal. Valk deals with anyone coming to contest the middle portal. Strange can go and push people around. Finally M.O.D.O.K. does M.O.D.O.K. things. Seven Suns is a great card here.
At 20 Wong can become Taskmaster and you bring R&D if you want to turn Strange on round 1. At 18, either Valkyrie or Hawkeye becomes Okoye, depending on what you feel you are likely to see opposite you. At 17 Wong gets dropped. This can’t be played at 16 currently, as both 16s are also secures. At 15 you’ve got Herbs and you may choose to run a list like the one below,
15 Herbs is another one you need to have a plan for:
- Doctor Strange
- Soul Gem
Valkyrie and Toad are there for the play to score turn one herbs. Okoye and Wong round out to a 5 character team. That means you are likely to have last activation with Toad. It also doubles as a decent counter in combination with Wakandan Herb to super fast Gamma teams like Wakanda Wave. But really you’d probably like to upgrade a Okoye and Wong. If you have priority you can choose a higher threat level or if forced to play at 15, play a Demons style Gamma strategy with a central M.O.D.O.K – this can also work in to those Wakanda Wave style teams, simply from the amount of damage you will be doing. Luckily you have some great choices. Hawkeye or Taskmaster are easy swaps for either of those two at 16. Likely Taskmaster on Witnesses and Hawkeye on Cosmic Vaults. At 17 you swap both – but be sure to bring Advanced R&D. At 18 you can upgrade Okoye to M.O.D.O.K. who maybe doesn’t love the D shape, but given your herb play, you are likely to only need to defend two of the portals nearest the vessel to keep your team together. He can still hop through the portal to the Herb if it looks like he has good targets round 1. At 19 M.O.D.O.K. goes in with probably Hawkeye and runs very similarly on the Demons, but has a slightly smaller area of influence due the placement of the portal more to one side, and the side it goes on is telegraphed to your opponent.
There are other builds, like having Hulk on Cubes, but the vast majority of your games will use one of the above.
There are a few flex spots. You might consider swapping Hawkeye for Shuri. This makes your Demons game less impactful – that Hawkeye hit and run play is really good – but makes it a lot better on Gamma, which you will be playing ~25% of the time.
Taskmaster could be swapped with another 3 threat. Ideally they would be Defenders affiliated, and we have a few more characters around the corner that could swap in. Alternatively, I did consider Zemo. Zemo has many similarities but a more offensive slant. As well as fewer defensive abilities, he only has 5 stamina on his healthy side. Add in that Taskmaster can slot in counting as a Defender, and that he can hand out Hex at range 4 using his Shield Throw and I thought he was the better include. A Doomed Prophecy Agent Widow – the Widow Bomb – is another consideration that might be a solid swap, especially on Demons and Gamma. She can use the portals to go in last from a safe spot and act early in the next round to try to help her mitigate the downside of the card. It does take up one of your two restricted slots though. A final fun consideration is Ant Man: with R&D he can Portal, go small, jump forward to the opponents deployment, use a 6 dice builder then play No Matter the Cost to send a stunning poisoning Bullet Ant Barrage across the opponents deployment on the top of one. That might be more cute than good though.
Okoye could be any other two threat, though Nebula may not be a great choice as the role that character has is typically to sit on/contest a secure.
One thing to consider is that terrain may be placed to make it hard for Valk to double move to the Herb. Having Rocket Boots?! in your cards may be clutch on the odd table. It’s a shame if Valk gets some statuses on her, but the 4VP score probably makes it worth considering. Herbs would tend to be a without priority choice anyway, so maybe you can control that by choosing table edge.
Maybe you don’t need Hulk, but I’ve waited since the beginning of the game to find a roster that included Hulk that I liked. It may evolve and he might need to get subbed out, but for now he has a role on Cubes and Spider Infected, and a 5 power Hulk with chip damage building up is so much fun to play.